Monday, July 22, 2013
Review Roundup: Revenge is a Bitter Brew
By James J. Griffin
Western Fictioneers Library, March 2013
$0.99 Kindle, ASIN B00BNQJ2G8
When a gang of outlaws attacks Texas Ranger Jim Blawcyzk’s wife and son, a dyed-in-the-wool lawman sheds his badge to get revenge. Determined to deliver justice personally this time, he disobeys orders and sets out after the lowlifes, not knowing whether his family will live or die of their wounds. Will he cross the line and become exactly the sort of man he’s always hunted?
First published in 2008 and out of print for several years before Western Fictioneers re-released the book in digital formats, Jim Griffin’s Ranger’s Revenge represents something of a departure for the author. Griffin typically draws a bright line between good and evil, hero and outlaw. In this tale, Blawcyzk — one of the author's recurring characters — wears the mantle of an antihero, and he wears it well. The outlaws wanted him dead; his wife and son were collateral damage. That notion twists a knife deep in Blawcyzk’s soul. Part of him demands the personal satisfaction of avenging his innocent loved ones, yet he can’t quite turn loose of his bone-marrow-deep principles. The conflict tears him up inside and creates a honed edge of tension for most of the book.
While Blawcyzk hunts the outlaws, the Rangers hunt him. He must employ everything he’s learned about both sides of the law just to survive. When partners and old friends come to his aid, he’s burdened with the additional knowledge their careers and lives are in jeopardy, too. Nevertheless, he forges deeper into the bowels of a self-made hell, more conflicted than ever but unwilling to abandon his quest.
Ranger’s Revenge is gritty, action-packed, and full of Griffin’s signature historical detail. For Griffin fans, this is a must-read. For writers, it’s excellent study material. Readers who enjoy classic westerns will find all the tradition they could want between the covers.
Kathleen Rice Adams is a Texan, a voracious reader, a professional journalist, and a novelist in training. She received a review copy of Ranger’s Revenge from the publisher. Her opinions are her own and are neither endorsed nor necessarily supported by Western Fictioneers or individual members of the organization.
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This one has really sparked my interest, Kathleen. Thank you for your indepth review. I look forward to each and every one.ReplyDelete
NO GREATER GLORY/Samhain Publishing
Always Romance. Nothing Less.
Kathleen, this sounds like a really good read! I need to lay my hands on it now, Tex--see what you've gone and done to my TBR pile AGAIN????LOL Thanks for this insight. I love the angst.ReplyDelete
Heckuva good review. I look forward to reading it.ReplyDelete
Great review, Kathleen. Jim Griffin certainly knows how to tell a story and keeps you turning pages. And I quite agree, he packs in the historical details, and with his knowledge about horses you feel as if you are transported back to the Old West. It is a must-buy. In fact, I'll just buy now.ReplyDelete
Wow, I don't know what to say except "THANKS, KATHLEEN!" I really appreciate the great review. And thanks to WF and especially Livia for bringing Ranger's Revenge back to the (electronic) bookshelves. And thanks to relatively new WF member Ron McDonald for publishing the original version under the Silverjack imprint.ReplyDelete
What an exciting western. All that story for only 99 cents.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the great review.
I wish you all the best.
Thank you, Sarah... and everyone else for the kind words.ReplyDelete
A friend from Western Book Readers shared this review on my facebook page which led me to this site. I'm so glad I found you and I've become a follower.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Janet. Be sure to check out my website at www.jamesjgriffin.net to see some of the crazy stuff I do with my horse Yankee.ReplyDelete
This sounds like a great character study with lots of amazing action, it is on the TBP pile. Thank you for the great review and to the publishers for bringing it back to the public. DorisReplyDelete
That's a great review -I'm glad that one's back out!ReplyDelete
Great review for ya, Jim! CONGRATS!! Love the hero's Polish ancestry.ReplyDelete
Hope you catch this reply. My mom's family was Polish, and Blawcyzk was her family's name, before it was "anglicized" to Blanchard long before she met and married my dad. Of course "Blanchard" is more like "francocizing" the name, since Blanchard is French.
And a lot of folks don't realize one of the first Polish settlements in Texas, in fact the USA, was in Bandera, Texas, starting well before the Civil War, in 1855. My story in WF's "The Traditional West", "The Great Texas Kapusta Incident", is set in the Polish settlement of Panna Maria, and some of the dialogue in the story is written in Polish.